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  • The volcanoes of my soul are just about to blow!

    2011 - 11.19

    I was told yesterday that I listen to “girlfriend” music. I suppose that’s true in a few senses – I usually enjoy the most accessible songs in any given genre, and I’m very inclined to listen to whatever weird genre the person I’m dating enjoys.

    A prime example of that is Steven Wilson, whom I was lucky enough to see in concert on Wednesday. I am only familiar with his work through some of my dudes – Ethan, for example, has called Porcupine Tree one of his favourite bands for years. I didn’t actually listen to their music until a few songs of theirs appeared on a birthday mixed CD. The maker of said mix explained that he chose their most accessible, poppy tunes (Drown With Me and Blackest Eyes) because he wanted to ease me into a Steven Wilson fandom easily. Normally I enjoy being thrown into the deep end, but it was a smart move.

    My talent crush on Steven Wilson grew the more I heard his music. I even watched a PT concert DVD, which is something I never do. I started to love his more meandering solo material (though his cover of Momus’ “The Guitar Lesson” is creepy like whoa). He’s just so CHARMING, you guys.

    Now imagine the second-most charming English accent you’ve ever heard coming out of that mouth. (This, by the way, is another Girlfriend Rock curse – there’s always a bit of a crush on the frontman)

    I have had this fantasy about him since I first heard about him, wherein I sell him a REALLY NICE pair of glasses. I worked the day of the show, but alas – he never came into my store. Should he ever read this, the offer stands. Steven Wilson, your next pair of glasses are on me. It’s actually a lot more likely at this new store than my old place of work…

    Anyway, I was very excited for Steven Wilson’s show, and I wasn’t disappointed! I missed the film beforehand (though I hear the reviews are very mixed about that section) because I had a closing shift, but I made it in time to meet up with Logan about twenty minutes before the show started.

    Let me tell you – SW fans are not nice people, from what I can tell. There was so much snarking and pushing and tall people moving to stand right in front of short people on purpose. Luckily, I was able to find a nice spot from whence I could see the man as he sang and conducted and played his LED-lit guitar. Songs that didn’t grab me on the new record, Grace for Drowning, were much more lively when seen firsthand. A highlight for me, of course, was “Postcard.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever been to a show where there was that much SOUND. The drummer was an absolute madman. The reverb of SW’s vocals made every hair stand on end. I couldn’t tell many of the songs from one another, but it wasn’t about that. I loved how the band was able to make the sound feel like it was washing over the audience. I was grinning and loving it from the first note to the last.

    Also, kudos for the classiest exit ever! He had the names of his supporting band projected onto the wall at the back of the stage and a “thank you, goodnight” message to the fans. He really ought to be known as the gentleman of progressive rock. Other people will have more technical reviews, but I’m not enough of an authority to try. I had an amazing time, and I would go see him again in any incarnation.

    Bonus points for running into Ethan, Pogo, Rob and Ali! Good dudes clearly have good taste in music, too. Ethan and I haven’t been spending as much time together since the Dwayne residency ended, and I seriously miss that guy.

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